Multiregional less-than-truckload carrier Saia returned to trucking’s billion dollar club in 2011 as its profit skyrocketed on higher LTL rates and surcharges.
The trucking company’s 2011 revenue leaped 14 percent to $1 billion, but net profit shot up to $11.4 million from slightly less than $2 million in 2010. The annual gains were reflected in fourth quarter results, when Saia saw profit more than triple to $6.2 million as revenue rose 13 percent to $253 million.
The quarterly results would have been better except for $4.8 million in claims from severe accidents and higher health care and truck maintenance costs. Higher pricing, fuel surcharges and yield contributed to the surge in revenue and profit at the company, which was the ninth-largest U.S. LTL carrier in 2010.
“We attained solid increases in contract renewals during the quarter from customers,” said Rick O’Dell, president and CEO of the Johns Creek, Ga., company.
Saia’s revenue per hundredweight or yield rose 11 percent in the quarter, despite a 1.2 percent decline in LTL shipments and a 1.5 increase in tonnage. The spread between the percentage change in yield and actual shipments increased from the third quarter, when shipments were flat and yield was up 11.6 percent.
Saia’s yield was up 8.6 percent year over year in the first quarter last year and 9.6 percent in the second quarter.
“Our focus remains on yield improvement and I believe these increases will continue,” O’Dell said.